In Graham Betchart’s garage, there sits a wooden box just big enough to fit a person. Outside, it is covered with photos of Graham, and all the people he’s worked with as a mental performance coach. The list includes Aaron Gordon, Karl Anthony-Towns, Andrew Wiggins, USA Basketball and the team at Facebook. Betchart has worked with the best-of-the-best, the most talented people in the world of basketball, and those at Fortune 500 companies, and he advises them on how to live in the present and sharpen their mental framework.
Yet, when stepping into the box to record Unlock, a new album of meditation and music, Betchart was nervous. He had never worked on honing his own voice for so long while consciously thinking about how he sounded, his levels of projection, rhythm and flow.
“I was scared to put my voice out there,” Betchart said. “The experience was very vulnerable and very empowering. Building lucid helped me overcome my own fears.”
Hundreds of hours later, Betchart went from being a leading mental performance coach, to one who is available on Spotify through his new “mental mixtape” called Unlock. In making Unlock, not only is Betchart providing listeners with a go-to framework of rhythmic mental strategies, but also he learned how to live more in the moment himself.
The idea to develop Unlock began in 2014 when a few clients at the NBA Draft asked Betchart for more recordings of his meditation. He had a friend start making beats and he added them as a backdrop to his meditations.
In 2017, the album Unlock was in the early stages, this time with beats made by a professional producer.
“Over the last three or four years, I’ve just been practicing and practicing and practicing, culminating to this last year where I’m just making tons of music,” Betchart said. “I just love sharing it as a way to teach and there’s science behind it. It’s called dual encoding and that means when you learn something to melody, your brain has twice as much of a chance to retain it.”
While many doubt the ability to be productive with music in the backdrop, Betchart thought to do just the opposite. By harnessing the power of music, routines actually can take shape easier.
Lucid contains 10 tracks of music and meditation, the first three being Greatness, Breathe, and Unlock, and the last being Embrace. They each have a purpose and can be played in a cycle or one at a time.
“The album is exactly designed to unlock you, to get you out of your own way,” Betchart said. “A lot of times I’ve found that we’re holding ourselves back.”
The idea is to start the album with Greatness because the goal is to inspire listeners that they can overcome whatever challenge they are facing. Whatever needs overcoming, it is possible, and Betchart aims to kick the album off with the utmost positivity.
“We’re acknowledging that you have it in you,” Betchart said. “The album is designed to allow you to unlock your deepest powers.”
As for the timing of releasing Unlock during COVID-19, Betchart admits it was no accident. He understands that now more than ever people are struggling to live in the moment with so much loss, community, and unavoidable shifts in one’s life. Lucid is there to be a resource and guide during the pandemic and afterwards.
“Whatever you’re doing today, really go for it and be present,” Betchart said. “Strengthen your ability to be grateful for what’s going on right now.”
To listen to Unlock, head to Apple Music.